In the world today, many people dismiss and even mock
marriage and the family. Amid such confusing and destructive
voices, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve
Apostles provide the consistent voice of truth. They “solemnly
proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is
ordained of God and that the family is central to the
Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children” (see
“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” page 59 in this
Life’s greatest joys are found in the family. Strong family
relationships require effort, but such effort brings great happiness in this life and throughout eternity. Even if you have
not had a happy family life in the past, you can seek to have a
happy, eternal marriage and a loving relationship with family
The New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage
In our Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness, a man and a
woman can be sealed to one another for time and all eternity.
Those who are sealed in the temple have the assurance that
their relationship will continue forever if they are true to their
covenants. They know that nothing, not even death, can permanently separate them.
The covenant of eternal marriage is necessary for exaltation.
The Lord revealed through Joseph Smith: “In the celestial
glory there are three heavens or degrees; and in order to
obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the
priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of
marriage]; and if he does not, he cannot obtain it. He may
enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he
cannot have an increase” (D&C 131:1–4).
After receiving the sealing ordinance and making sacred
covenants in the temple, a couple must continue in faithfulness
in order to receive the blessings of eternal marriage and
exaltation. The Lord said:
“If a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law,
and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed
unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is
anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the
keys of this priesthood; . . . and if [they] abide in my
covenant, . . . it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever
my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all
eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the
world” (D&C 132:19; for an explanation of the Holy Spirit of
Promise, see page 82).
Preparing for Marriage
If you are single, prepare yourself carefully for marriage.
Remember that there is no substitute for marrying in the
temple. Prepare to marry the right person in the right place
at the right time. Live worthy now of the kind of person you
hope to marry.
Date only those who have high standards and in whose
company you can maintain your high standards. Carefully
plan positive and constructive activities so that you and your
date are not left alone without anything to do. Stay in areas of
safety where you can easily control yourself. Do not participate
in conversations or activities that arouse sexual feelings.
Look for a companion of your own faith. Look for someone
you can always honor and respect, someone who will
complement you in your life. Before you marry, be sure you
have found someone to whom you can give your entire heart,
your entire love, your entire allegiance, your entire loyalty.
Counsel for Those Who Do Not Marry
Some members of the Church remain single through no
fault of their own, even though they want to marry. If you
find yourself in this situation, be assured that “all things
work together for good to them that love God” (Romans
8:28). As you remain worthy, you will someday, in this life
or the next, be given all the blessings of an eternal family
relationship. The Lord has made this promise repeatedly
through His latter-day prophets.
If you are single and desire to be married, do not give
up hope. At the same time, do not allow yourself to become
preoccupied with your goal. Instead, become anxiously
engaged in worthwhile activities. Look for ways to serve in
your extended family and in your community. Accept and
magnify Church callings. Keep yourself clean, both physically
and spiritually. Continue to learn and develop and progress
in your personal life.
Achieving a Happy Marriage
If you are married, remember that the friendship and
love between you and your spouse should be your most
cherished earthly relationship. Your spouse is the only person
other than the Lord whom you have been commanded to
love with all your heart (see D&C 42:22).
Remember that marriage, in its truest sense, is a partnership
of equals, with neither person exercising dominion over
the other, but with each encouraging, comforting, and helping
Because marriage is such an important relationship in
life, it needs and deserves time. Do not give higher priority to
less-important commitments. Take time to talk together and
to listen to one another. Be thoughtful and respectful. Express
tender feelings and affection often.
Determine that nothing will ever come between you and
your spouse to disrupt your marriage. Resolve to make your
marriage succeed, in spite of challenges that may arise.
Be loyal to one another. Be faithful in your marriage
covenants in thought, word, and deed. Remember that the
Lord has said, “Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart,
and shalt cleave unto her and none else” (D&C 42:22). The
phrase “none else” teaches that no person, activity, or possession should ever take precedence over your relationship with your spouse.
Stay away from anything that could lead you to be
unfaithful in any way. Pornography, unwholesome fantasies,
and flirtations will erode your character and strike at the
foundation of your marriage.
Work together to manage your finances. Cooperate in
establishing and following a budget. Discipline yourselves in
your spending, and avoid the bondage of debt. Wise money
management and freedom from debt contribute to peace in
Center your lives in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Help one
another keep the covenants you have made. Attend church
and the temple together. Study the scriptures together. Kneel
together in prayer at the beginning and end of each day to
thank your Heavenly Father for one another and to unite in
asking for His blessings on your lives, your home, your loved
ones, and your righteous desires. God will then guide you,
and your daily conversations with Him will bring the peace
and joy that can come from no other source. Your companionship
will sweeten through the years; your love will
strengthen. Your appreciation for one another will grow.
Additional references: Genesis 1:27–28; 2:18, 21–24; 1 Corinthians 11:11;
Ephesians 5:22–33; Moses 2:27–28; 3:18, 21–24
See also Chastity; Divorce; Family; Temples; Unity